Main Deck Goals

It is profoundly difficult to be original or innovative with Sisay as the deck was maybe one of the earliest to ever be solved. Sisay herself clearly dictates a linear strategy of building around legends and there are only so many in 2 colors that one can play, and of those, a clear subset that is superior. That being said, I feel there is still some room to decide for yourself some deckbuilding limitations that can lead to a unique deck and play experience, which is what I have endeavored to create here.

Deckbuilding Limitations:

  1. Nobody on the Weatherlight that Captain Sisay wouldn't want on her crew. That means no demonstrably evil characters that are common to Sisay decks such as Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.

  2. Where reasonable, play cards and effects that are highly synergistic but, with one exception, not intended to create a particular combo. The exception is Mind Slaver , which is a card I have been looking for an opportunity to use for a wincon in a deck since I started playing. Despite it's malignant-sounding name it seems like the perfect wincon for a thematic Sisay deck as it allows her to win without ever having to strike down her enemies. By comboing it with Yomiji, Who Bars the Way and the enormous amounts of mana this deck can easily generate, the pilot can effortlessly take control of all opponents' turns ad infinitum.

  3. Despite the new planeswalker rule created at the end of 2017 to eliminate the legacy "Planeswalker Uniqueness" rule and retroactively make them all legendary, I have endeavored to keep the numbers of planeswalkers to a minimum. There is no Doubling Season intentionally to avoid the natural tendency towards just building another degenerate superfriends deck. All the planeswalkers in this deck have been carefully selected for their abilities as they interact with Sisay or the broader themes of ramping and using creatures with activated abilities.

Primary Lines of Play and Key Strategies:

In the first game I played with this game on January 20, 2018, the day of the Government shutdown, I opened with a godhand. Forest, Sakura-Tribe Scout, Deserted Temple, Horizon Canopy, Selvala, Explorer Returned, Karametra, God of Harvests, and Privileged Position. Turn 1 Forest into Scout into turn 2 Selvala after activating scout into turn 3 Karametra. On turn 6 I think I had 11 lands and upwards of 20 non-token permanents. I think that was the best possible start for this deck, especially considering theres no sol ring, and now I'll take you through the ideal lines.

Step 1: Card draw

The first card to go get with Captain Sisay should normally be Reki, History of Kamigawa so that you can cantrip off of most cards you subsequently cast. Since Sisay essentially draws you whatever card you want in your deck, this card draw is true card advantage and you can burn through the deck really far.

Step 2: Ramp

As in the example above, all of the three cards I mentioned are excellent for ramping early or late. Karametra is critical at any stage as she pretty much survives any boardwipe and gives that crucial incremental advantage. Probably the second card you should usually get with Sisay usually should be Azusa, Lost but Seeking as she will let you keep playing the lands you draw from cantripping with Reki instead of them just ending up as dead cards in your hand. Note that most of the big ramp sources in this deck are legendary so they are tutorable with Sisay: Gaea's Cradle, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, both Selvalas, Karametra, Sword of the Animist, and Growing Rites of Itlimoc  Flip.

Step 3: Sisay-centered synergy

Many of the interactions and cards in the deck require the creatures to tap, reward you for using tap abilities, untap creatures, or interact with tap abilities in some way. Nissa, Genesis Mage is one of the most hilariously unbalanced and disgusting planeswalkers of all time and the funny part is that WotC made it as the garbage planeswalker deck front card but despite being 7 mana her first ability is one of the most ridiculous ever printed. You can untap Sisay, another important tapper like Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, and then two lands like Nykthos and Gaea's Cradle or Itlimoc. With any reasonable board state and depending on the interaction from your opponents this should be an unrecoverable winning position.

Other cards that work along these lines are Scryb Ranger, Thousand-Year Elixir, and the most busted of all: Paradox Engine which should probably be banned but hey, it keeps winning me games so I won't complain. It may be noted that I play significantly fewer of the untapping effects than many other Sisay decks or similar decks that abuse commanders with tap activated abilities. The reason for that is that these decks are already unfairly consistent, which makes it extra unfun for your opponents to play against, and personally, it makes it unfun for me because I end up playing the same game every time, which is the opposite of what I'm going for in EDH. Variety is the spice that makes this format unique, that and the social multiplayer aspect. So even though this deck leans towards linearity and will always have the same end game for me, I'd like the journey to at least be different each time.

Step 4: Assemble the combo

When I was brewing this deck I was trying to think of a wincon that would be unique from anything else I've ever done as well as something different from what most Sisay decks do. Most Sisay wins I've seen end up being Living Plane + Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, which doesn't fit with my theme of this deck being composed of legendary characters that Sisay would conceivably welcome on the Weatherlight because Elesh Norn is definitely evil.

So instead I decided to think about how Sisay would instead want to overcome her foes: she would seek to change their minds and help them find the good in themselves after so thoroughly dominating them that they lost all will to fight. This led me to Mindslaver, which is a card I've wanted to build with for a while, and fit the idea perfectly. The combo with it is Yomiji, Who Bars the Way because each time you sacrifice the Mindslaver it comes back to your hand because it's legendary and you can recast it repeatedly to take control of all your opponents' turns forever.

I know most people don't find losing to Mindslaver very satisfying and I've never really understood why combo is especially upsetting to people to lose to. It's just another way the game ends; evolve your own level of play and understand that more than one strategy is a valid way to play. This combo is easily interruptible via previous turn boardwipes, instant-speed removal of Yomiji, and any number of other ways.

Explanations of a few specific cards

Vedalken Orrery+Mangara of Corondor+Paradox Engine, Umezawa's Jitte, Masako the Humorless, and Arashi, the Sky Asunder are some of the most interesting cards in the deck to me.

  • Vedalken Orrery+Mangara of Corondor+Paradox Engine: Is an awesome removal combo that really abuses Mangara. Normally he's just an excellent permanent Oblivion Ring kind of effect but with the two artifacts, you can activate his ability, hold priority and then keep casting cards, untapping him from Paradox Engine, until you have exiled as many permanents as you want or can. If you are untapping creatures that make you mana at the same time from the Engine then you should be able to go infinite with Sisay out too. Mangara can exile lands as well, so this can be a niche wincon too if you exile all of your opponents' permanents.

  • Umezawa's Jitte is just excellent colorless removal, even for brutal cards like Iona, Shield of Emeria and since it's legendary it can be tutored for with Sisay, draw a card from Reki, and be tapped even while equipped for Honor-Worn Shaku.

  • Masako the Humorless is a really cool combat trick and one of the only ones that is reasonably playable in an EDH deck, specifically this one. Since the whole deck is built around activate abilities to tap your creatures, she allows them to still block, and since she has flash, you can get some serious blowouts against people swinging in at you.

  • Arashi, the Sky Asunder is a fantastic card for the deck to protect you from flying armies, especially in the current mega meta where tribal decks are rampant post-Commander 2017 such as dragons, vampires, and angels, all of which have flying. You don't even need to cast it since you can just tutor it with Sisay after attackers have been declared, and discard it to its Channel ability to wipe them out.

Basic Lands

The basics in this deck (above) are all intended to be identical art. Selesnya is the only two-color combination I'm aware of where this is possible because of a German misprinted Forest from (I believe) Alternate 4th Edition. The colors on the German forests are much deeper than on the Plains and the sky is significantly bluer, but the art is nevertheless identical. Also, the German Forests have Christopher Rush credited as the artist instead of Jesper Myrfors.


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Date added 6 months
Last updated 1 month
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This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.70
Tokens Garruk, 3/3 Beast, Monarch, 4/4 Elemental, 1/1 Soldier, Elspeth
Folders Uncategorized, interesting, Decks I like, Interesting Commander Decks, ideas, Decks to look at, new commander shit, Dream EDH Decks, Sisay, Cool Stuff, See all 13
Top rank #17 on 2018-05-16
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Revision 5 See all

3 months ago)

-7 ForestDE main
+1 Ajani UnyieldingDE main
+1 Eight-and-a-Half-TailsDE main
-1 Eight-and-a-Half-TailsDE main
-1 Ajani UnyieldingDE main
+7 ForestDE main